Folks often wonder, why I’m so engaged in the lives of the Real Housewives?After all, I’m a professional woman who travels the world speaking and uplifting others.
Here are some of the reasons I am hooked:
1) I think of Nene Leakes (RHOA), one of the first ladies to make the Real Housewives franchise successful. She accomplished this by acting unreasonable, combative, angry and even crazy at times. As a Black woman, I was embarrassed in the early days as I watched her. But, I’m equally impressed by her growth and challenges. She got divorced and remarried in front of our eyes. She went from hood chick to elegant chick. She has her own fashion line, and seems to always have a presence on TV. This may not have happened without her being vulnerable on RHOA.
2) Another housewife who comes to mind is Kenya Moore, who was Ms. USA and an occasional actress. But Kenya wanted more. She wanted folks to know her, so she joined the RHOA. Boy did she make an entrance and become the villain in two minutes. We learned by watching her that she’s not just a pretty face, she has issues. She has insecurities, she doesn’t always play fair, she can be judgmental plus so much more. Kenya’s short film debuted about a year ago via RHOA and highlighted her skills as a producer and actress and I must say it was rather impressive. Within the same year, she met a lovely man via a millionaire matchmaker show and seemed to finally meet her match in a partner. However months later, we learned he married someone else.
3) Vicki Gulvanson from RHOOC, can always say, she was the first of two housewives to join the Real Housewives franchise and still remains. She’s always been a confrontational housewife, to put it lightly. I’ve always admired her independence and drive to earn her own money. What I don’t admire is her habit of putting others down to feel better. She did this season after season. She seemed unbeatable. Then out of the blue this season, she was taken down by the new girl, nearly half her age. Her Vickism’s including, but not limited to, name calling, over talking, yelling, dismissing others, and the list goes on, did not work! During Reunion Part 1 that recently aired, you could see her still trying to justify herself. She’s a walking contradiction. In Part 2, she will hear what she’s needed to hear for a while: you are wrong.
4) Tamara Judge, another original RHOOC housewife, has also evolved, she was just as bad as Vicki for most seasons. She recently became a born again Christian. I pray she really commits to the lifestyle. She’s had a ton of personal challenges over the last two years. She’s fighting diligently for custody and dealing with one of daughters not wanting to be in her life.
5) Skinny girl herself, Bethenny Frankel, had one of biggest evolutions in the Real Housewives franchise. She went from single lady with ambition to a multimillionaire within a few years. Then, she became a wife and mother in one year. She then shot to fame and appeared in Fortune magazine and got her own talk show. She was the “it” girl. Then, within a year, her marriage and talk show was no more. Last season she returned to RHONY licking her wounds.
6) One of the first housewives who got my attention because of her unpredictable behavior was Teresa Giudice. On RHONJ, she was feisty and fashionable. She had a way about her that was captivating and confusing. We could also see a consistent habit of not owning her stuff. It seemed to always be someone else’s fault. Well, we know how that story turned out, she was finally in a situation that required accountability. She’s a few weeks from being released from prison and then her husband goes in.
7) Another housewife also had a journey that we could not have written. She was a newlywed attorney married to a handsome ex-con. Within the first season, we heard statements that did not make sense. She did not want us to know that she was far along in her pregnancy, pre-marriage. You know I’m talking about Phaedra Parks (RHOA), the sassy southerner. She worked hard to protect her image and show the world that she had a healthy marriage with an amazing career and happy kids. We could see the leaks in the surface before all was revealed. At the end of it, she lost her husband to prison and was humiliated. We saw the vulnerable Phaedra.
These are just a few examples of the lives of the Real Housewives. Some seem unreal, but if we look hard enough we can see the exact same situations in everyday life.
Marquesa LaDawn is a professional businesswoman who escapes the pressures of living in New York City by retreating into the real world of reality TV. Follow her on twitter @realityshowgirl, Periscope and subscribe to her podcast at www.RealitytvGirl.com